As a prophet and preacher, Carlyle was an important and controversial figure in nineteenth-century thought. Carlyle is best known for his impressionistic history of the French Revolution and for his essays proclaiming the virtues of strong, heroic leadership. But for his contemporaries Carlyle's was also a prophetic voice. John Stuart Mill, a formidable political adversary, acknowledged that Carlyle 'saw things long before me', while for Charles Dickens he was simply 'the man who knows everything'.
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